Helpline bolsters village response to drug abuse

CHATHAM–Village of Chatham Police Chief Peter Volkmann announced last week that the village Chatham Cares 4U (CC4U) program and Columbia Pathways to Recovery (CPR) have started an information line for people to call with questions about dealing with addiction.

Mayor Tom Curran read Chief Volkmann’s monthly police report at the May 11 Village Board meeting, which included information about the “helpline” and a progress report on CC4U, which has helped over 104 people get into treatment over the last 10 months. People looking for detox or rehabilitation programs for substance abuse disorders can come to the Chatham Police Station in the Tracy Memorial on Main Street and ask for help from the village police. Officers find them a treatment program and then transport them to the treatment facility at no charge to the person.

Chief Volkmann, who arrived at the meeting after his report had been read by the mayor, stressed that this new helpline was not a hotline but instead is a place where people can get information. The number is 877-467-3365 (877-HOPE-365) between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. seven days a week and volunteers trained by CC4U “will be available to talk about recovery,” the chief said in his report.

“That must take a lot of pressure off of you guys,” Mayor Curran said to the chief.

Chief Volkmann said that a great deal of his time and that of Chatham Police Lieutenant Joseph Alessi was taken up answering questions about the CC4U program.

The chief said the information line will “help us professionally and personally.”

“This will supply people with the resources,” Mayor Curran said of the helpline.

A press release from CPR says that the helpline offers information, resources, referrals and will connect people to the CC4U program.

“We are not a crisis hotline” the CPR release says. “If you are in a crisis situation, you should call the Columbia-Greene Mobile Crisis Assessment Team (MCAT) at 518 943-5555.” That program is staffed from noon to 8 p.m. 7 days a week. The release also advised, “If you have a medical emergency, you should dial 911 immediately.”

Chief Volkmann said his department has received the first reimbursement check from the county Department of Social Services for mileage for transporting people to treatment. He also told the board that he has been meeting with DSS to look at a county-wide recovery plan.

The village Police Department hosted a medication drop off day on April 29 and the chief reported that the collected medicines filled four boxes, which will be disposed of. The Police Department has a year-round medication drop box that residents can use when the Tracy Memorial is open.

Also at the May 11 meeting:

• The board approved the purchase of a new water main and other assorted pipes and hardware at a cost of $28,311.28 to complete the work on Woodbridge Avenue. Woodbridge from Hoffman Street to Church Street will be closed starting June 13. The Department of Public Works hopes to be done with the project by August. A new water main and paving was completed on the other end of Woodbridge, between Kinderhook and Hoffman streets, last year

•Phil Genovese, from the DPW, presented a meter to the board that can be put on a hose to gage how much water a resident uses from the hose. Residents can get relief on sewer bills for water that does not go back into the sanitary sewer. Mr. Genovese suggested the village purchase the meters in bulk and offer them to residents to purchase so that a resident can bring in the meter to show the clerk how much water they have used before applying for relief

• The board tabled a discussion on spending $33,092 on engineering drawings for repairs on the cupola and roof for the Tracy Memorial. Trustee Jay Rippel pointed out that money would come from a donation to the village by the Tracy Fund for the building’s upkeep and that the new Friends of Tracy group is awaiting drawings before they can start fundraising for the project.

But Trustee Mike Wollowitz had questions about how the village would pay for the project’s engineering drawings. He said the board “never had a discussion about where these numbers came from.”

Mayor Curran said he would take Mr. Wollowitz’s questions to the building engineer

• The board received an email from Town of Chatham Board member Landra Haber saying that the state has approved the town’s plan to put an electric car charging station in the parking lot next to the Tracy Memorial, which is owned by both the town and the village. Mayor Curran said he had not heard whether Ghent had received the approval on its proposal for a charging station at the Depot Square parking lot, which is in the village and in Ghent

• The board plans to approve new fees for use of village property, including the Tracy and the gazebo, at the next meeting, May 25 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

Comments are closed.